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children children's rights contemplations Germany inspiration morning coffee talk Photography street photography

Daily Coffee Talk~ 87/365

Today I saw a lot of children and young people enjoying the sun on a cold crisp day here in Germany and it made me think of this new generation.

They have to deal with so much and to inherit a broken world lacking in hope and riddled with corruption and warp.

The world today is so different to the one I had as a child. And yes, I did grow up inside of a civil war, but today feels somehow more volatile than that.

Things seem to be changing so fast and my hope is that change can happen in both directions. I know that sanity will return and morality still exists and good take up center stage at some point. It must…

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contemplations Germany morning coffee talk Photography street photography war

Daily Coffee Talk~ 86/365

Have you every had the feeling that even when you are alone, you are really not?

In my mind, there is never a dull moment. Thoughts, ponders, queries, hopes, questions, memories, investigations, plans, connecting of dots, and yes, sometimes fears and worries.

I am finding it difficult to not be concerned about what is happening around me in Europe. How can anyone not be? But why are we feeling the pain of others so much more acutely? Has something changed in the conductivity of the world?

It is quite unfathomable what humans are capable of doing to other humans in the search of their own self glory and greedy agendas.

So myself is telling me today to keep going, to keep hoping, to continue sending strength and good thoughts toward the innocent people caught up in this crazy war and to know that there is always light behind the darkness.

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human rights morning coffee talk Photography refugees war

Daily Coffee Talk~ 83/365

On the third day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, my mind goes back to my experiences with refugees and the misfortunes of war.

I am finding myself unable to disconnect from the shock of seeing this happen in front of our eyes again, the war, the pain, the destruction, the displaced people and most importantly, children having their childhood stolen from them.

The pictures shown here are from the Syrian refugees that I photographed back in 2013, and back then, I saw a side of humanity that I was hoping I would never have to meet again.

Here we are in 2022, innocent people and their children subjected to tragedy because of ego, the strive for power and an unfathomable greed that lives in people like Putin.

The world does not need more refugees, we do not need more pain and confusion, humans have the right to lead a happy, productive, and full life with the chance to be who they are meant to be.

Who gives others the right to take that away? What kind of essence fuels wars? Will history keep repeating itself to the detriment of the human race and this planet?

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Germany morning coffee talk Photography street photography

Daily Coffee Talk~ 78/365

Rhein Promenade~ Duesseldorf

As Europe starts to gradually ease covid restrictions, I keep hearing talk of going back to our old normal, as if that is even possible!

Having lived through this pandemic and all the changes that we have witnessed, how can we use the words ‘going back’?

From here on, we can only move forward and discover a new normal, certainly not the same one we had.

Will they erase all these isolation circles that we got so used to standing inside of ? What about the way we wash our hands for 20 seconds? And the masks? Would the masks stay as they did in Asia after the SARS epidemic?

Let’s see what the future holds and how ‘normal’ is to be redefined.

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contemplations Germany morning coffee talk Photography

Daily Coffee Talk~ 73/365

Hi again from Germany.

The sun is finally shining bright the and the days are starting to stretch and yawn loudly with the music of birds around here.

Where do the birds hide in winter time? You still see some of them here and there but as spring comes closer they start to sing their little hearts out in joy.

After another pandemic winter confinement, you can almost feel the urge in everyone to run outdoors and sing their song.

Hoping for a peaceful spring time of creativity and that the war that is threatening to happen in Europe fizzles down to sane talks instead. Because honestly, we need a break!

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celebrations children Germany inspiration morning coffee talk Photography

Morning Coffee Talk ~ 6/365

Good Morning!

It is December 6th, and in this part of the world, a very important visitor appears to bring the Christmas spirit to children around Germany.

Nikolaus (who is not Santa), but a  (Sankt Nikolaus or der Heilige Nikolaus), who was probably born around 245 C.E. in the port city of Patara in what we now call Turkey. Very little historical evidence exists for the man who later became the Bishop of Myra and the patron saint of children, sailors, students, teachers, and merchants.

He is credited with several miracles and his feast day is December 6, which is the main reason he is connected with Christmas. In Austria, parts of Germany, and Switzerland, der Heilige Nikolaus (or Pelznickel) brings his gifts for children on Nikolaustag, Dec. 6, not Dec. 25. And yes, ‘ das Christkindl’ still comes with more presents on December 24th! 

Children clean their boots and leave them outside the door for Nikolaus to fill them with goodies, nuts, oranges and small gifts (if the children were good). There is a lot more to do with this tradition that is fascinating including the scary devil looking characters that travel with Nikolaus to frighten the children, but those are mostly skipped in our home.

hThe images were taken last night from home and the quiet neighbourhood, and it seems that Nikolaus upgraded from boots to basket on this occasion.

Happy Nikolaus day to you wherever you are… 

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art contemplations Germany inspiration morning coffee talk Photography

Morning Coffee Talk~ 3/265

The early days of Covid-19

Good morning from my desk somewhere in Germany on a cold winter day. It is dark still before 6 am with our very short daylight hours at this time of year. Candles are lit, Christmas lights are on outside and that makes the world around me brighter and cosier.

I created this photo with my daughter in the image at the start of the pandemic when we all was still new, unknown, and in our minds a very temporary state of affairs. Here we are now almost 2 years later, looking at a 4th wave in Germany and watching the world grapple with this virus.

Familiarity is a strange thing, isn’t it? We used to perceive masks as a strange thing as we lived in China, where they were a common sight, but then as we lived there almost 12 years, they became part of the normals. Then in 2019, to wear and see masks around us in the European streets felt extremely strange, until that again became the normal, but is it?

Will we look back at this time of our lives and see it for the strange and impactful part of human history that it really is?

Hoping you are healthy, safe and happy wherever you are…

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inspiration lockdown Photography

Let’s Photograph Patience~

Our ‘Photography Project in Lockdown’ continues with ‘Patience’.
More details about this project in our ‘meetup’ group events pages.
Next subject: ‘CARE’
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Germany Photography

Moon over Quarantine~

Great weather has been our blessing here in the North-Western part of Germany since the lockdown over Covid19 began a few weeks ago. Mild weather, Spring bursting with color, birds chirping loudly and clear skies that go on for miles. That all somehow seems to soften the blow of the sad news of death and illness coming from all parts of our beautiful globe.

Last night was the second night of the super pink moon and I mustered the stamina to get out to the fields at moonrise to catch a glimpse, feel and an image of this beautiful phenomenon. I waited in the deserted dark field outside of our neighborhood for over two hours waiting and wondering if the moon has forsaken us. It was a clear sky shimmering with stars, but no moon to be seen. I called my friend Donna in New York to make sure she really saw it last night and that was a special moment connecting across the globe and chatting about our spinning sphere and the other spheres around it.

To make a long story concise, there was one single cloud and the moon was playing hide and seek behind it giggling and keeping me in quarantine in the dark field. I did some fun light painting as I waited and then chased the moon for a glorious half-hour as it emerged mimicking an orange sun. What a great reminder of how small we are and how beautiful our world is and how much there is still to explore.

Here are some images, some of just the moon in its showing off phase, and others are fun manipulations that I was tempted to create.

Wishing you all health and well being…

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celebrations Germany Photography street photography

Chasing the Christmas spirit~

Europe loves its Christmas Markets, the festive mood, the warm drinks cuddled by cold hands, the delicious smells of roasted almonds and the magical lights that chase away the darkness of winter. From the first advent till the winter solstice, people try to spend as much time as possible out in the markets calling on hope, warmth and light to comfort them through the long hard winters.

In the last 2 weeks I went with my camera and some fellow photographers chasing the Christmas spirit from Valkenburg in the Netherlands to Duesseldorf and then today to magical Cologne.